Farewell to Commissioner Tom Salaba

Tue July 23, 2019

A Letter From Commissioner Tom Salaba

Dear Downers Grove Park District Commissioners, Staff & Residents. Thank you for allowing me to serve you and the Park District during the last 4 years as one of your Commissioners. First you appointed me to the commission and then elected me as your representative. It has been my honor to participate in local government for the benefit of its citizens.

While my elected term has not expired, a housing relocation outside of the district mandates that I am no longer able to serve in the Commissioner  role. It was our objective to remain in Downers Grove, yet the local real estate conditions did not cooperate with our plan. I apologize for not completing the elected term, but know that district is in great shape.

Since 2015, we have done some great things together to  enhance  the quality of our parks and recreation programs:  We have rebuilt many playgrounds, added solar power, built the new golf course driving range shelter, re-turfed Doerhoefer, remodeled the Rec. Center locker rooms, designed the Lyman Woods Boardwalk, added a before/after school LINK program and purchased new park land.

The Summer Concert Series has grown into "The Event" to attend on Tuesdays at Fishel Park. We distributed 1,100 sapling trees with 602 being planted by District 58 3rd grade students last Arbor Day. Together, we have also updated policies and software systems, revamped the planning cycle and added the 5 year capitol planning component, added a "green" review of all capital projects, redirected our human resource efforts and improved our marketing and sponsorships. These are only the vast accomplishments as we have done so much more together. and the best part is that we did it while being fiscally responsible and lessening the burden on tax payers in the district. We challenged each other, planned and saved efficiencies for known big ticket capital improvement projects like the Recreation Center parking lot while delivering beautiful parks and quality programming for all to enjoy.

While I must resign as your President and Commissioner of the Downers  Grove Park District, please know that you, The District and The Village of Downers Grove will always hold a special place in my heart. Downers Grove is a wonderful community. Kim and I will visit often.

The Districts' future is bright with many great  projects  in various  stages  planned for our neighbors to make memorable experiences. So get out and enjoy the Downers Grove parks, feel the sunshine on your face and breath in some fresh air.

Maybe we will meet again on the sled hill at Ebersold, the new spray ground at Mccollum, the trails at Lyman Woods {with snow shoes) or Belmont Prairie, the Fountain at Washington Park, Disc Golf at Obrien, a sunset at Barth Pond, ice skating at Prince Pond, a quick 9 holes or covered driving range at the Downers Grove Golf Course, a workout at the Rec. Center 4500 Fitness, a picnic at Hummer, a football game at Doerhoefer, baseball at Memorial or just sitting on a bench at Lee & Grant or Hooper's Hallow. 

Thank you again for allowing me to serve our community and your partnership in doing so. The Downers Grove Park District has helped me and the Salaba Family make many memorable experiences.

Thank You,

Tom Salaba